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  • Kyle Chua

Google Developing Its Own Smartwatch, Targeting 2022 Launch

Google is expanding its Pixel lineup beyond smartphones and earbuds, with a first-party smartwatch that’s expected to launch next year.

Credit: Google via Trusted Reviews

According to Insider’s sources, the Pixel hardware group, the same group developing Google’s annual smartphone offerings, were assigned to work on the project, which currently goes by the codename "Rohan". It hasn’t been confirmed whether the watch will eventually adopt the Pixel branding and be called the "Pixel Watch".

What’s clear, however, is that like the Pixel smartphones, the watch will serve as a showcase to both consumers and hardware partners of the capabilities of Google’s software.

When it comes to features, the watch will reportedly include basic fitness trackers such as a step counter and a heart rate monitor. Google also plans to add Fitbit integration at launch. The Verge adds that the price will be closer to that of an Apple Watch rather than a Fitbit.

This is not the first time that Google has attempted to release its own smartwatch. In 2016, there were supposed talks about branding the LG Watch Sport and LG Watch Style as Pixel watches. But the idea was scrapped due to the two watches not looking like they "belonged" in the Pixel family.

WearOS reveal at Google I/O 2021. Credit: Google

Now, though, with Google acquiring Fitbit for US$2.1 billion earlier this year, it’s taking another crack at coming out with a first-party smartwatch. The report suggests that Google has merged its wearables team with Fitbit’s, but project "Rohan" will still be developed under the Pixel brand.

Google is also currently hard at work on the next iteration of its WearOS platform, which will bring new health features, incorporate Android 11’s new UI and design elements and improve performance. It doesn’t have a release date as of yet, with the company saying it’s targeting an early to mid-2022 rollout. Perhaps it will release alongside the very first Pixel smartwatch.

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